Rush (2013)

RushHaving first met in Formula Three at England’s Crystal Palace circuit, rival racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) once again find themselves in competition during the 1976 Formula One season, with Hunt replacing Emerson Fittipaldi at McLaren and Lauda — already an F1 World Champion — having bought a place at Ferrari. Despite winning the Spanish Grand Prix towards the beginning of the season, Hunt struggles to keep up with Lauda, his performance beset by issues with his car, his marriage to supermodel Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde), and his rock and roll lifestyle. When Lauda suffers his own setback at the infamous Nürburgring in Germany, however, Hunt finds himself very much back in the game.

From Ron Howard — of Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon, Rush adapts another true story for the big screen, and follows hot on the heals of 2011 racing documentaries Senna and TT3D: Closer to the Edge.  While undoubtedly a dramatic film, what is particularly remarkable about Rush is how true to life the movie manages to be; whether you already know the story or decide to look into it after the fact, it’s astonishing just how closely fiction imitates fact. That said, even though the races might closely represent the broadcasts of the time, Howard makes use of his modern cameras and special effects to make the circuits ever more tense and exciting.

Even the cast bear a striking resemblance to their real life counterparts, with Hemsworth and Brühl each doing a terrific job of capturing the essence of their respective namesakes. Admittedly, Hemsworth’s Hunt is not a hundred miles from his Thor, but it is still a brilliantly charismatic performance that couldn’t be more different from Brühl’s rather more unlikeable (but no less magnetic) turn as Lauda. You might expect each character to have been exaggerated for the big screen, but many of their exchanges are lifted straight from real life. They’re ably supported by some brilliant British talent, with Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay and Julian Rhind-Tutt cropping up just long enough to make an impression, while Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara also impress in relatively thankless roles.

For anyone less than interested in Formula One, it’s worth stating that many of the races are all but cut in an attempt to avoid repetition, and that those which are included are shot with verve and vigour (in addition to a “Racing For Dummies” commentary). Importantly, however, the most engaging action takes place off of the race track, with the clashing titans as interesting on their own as they are together. Nevertheless, the final race is one of the most thrilling set pieces of the year thus far. This is a film that deserves to be seen in the cinema.

4-Stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

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